One Heel Ahead Celebrates 1 Year


“When you set down the path to create art, whatever sort of art it is, understand that the path is neither short nor easy. That means you must determine if the route is worth the effort. If it’s not, dream bigger.”  – Seth Godin

It seems like it was just yesterday when I launched One Heel Ahead. I look back on some of my old posts, and feel overwhelmed by how far the blog has come – but also how different my life is from where I was when it started. It’s nice to have a curated document of my thoughts, where I can see how my writing has developed, and how I’ve developed as a person.

The last few months have been crazy, to say the least. I will admit that there was some time in between posts, and for that, I am incredibly sorry! Between finishing my Masters, and working full-time, along with the need for some kind of social life, time seemed to escape me.
I’m working diligently to keep up-to-date.

As One Heel Ahead begins to delve into it’s second year, I just want to thank all of you – my faithful readers – for visiting, supporting, and encouraging the blog. It certainly would not be what it is today without all of you returning to see what I conjure up! I started 1HA as a way to brand myself as an individual, looking to pursue a career in Public Relations.

For me, the blog has developed into so much more than that. It’s become a full-fledged journey of a career in PR, and a source for any communication professional. It’s intended to guide,
inspire and discuss the business of talking with an audience. As well, it’s a way for me to connect with a community of individuals interested in the topic – and pursuing the field as a profession.

Thank you to all my readers for your endless amount of support!

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Why a coherent brand message is so important

image(17)Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” – Malcolm Forbes

Building a brand identity today is a strategic part of developing a business; it’s the defining
difference between having something people can relate to, and just having a standing product or service.

When it comes to branding initiatives, the early stages are the most critical – the stages where developing a story and persona that your audience can attach to the product or service will set the stage for what happens next.

The problem companies find themselves in is not clearly defining these objectives before they get to market. Many times over, products, services, or businesses will make their break in the market and fail because of a lack of coherent messaging. More often than not, the lack of clearly defined objectives is exhibited across all communication channels. Inconsistent tonality, different visual assets and varying language will lead to confused consumers – ultimately, causing a break in the chain from market to consumer.

Whether it’s the company website, social media, or promotional material that’s being
disseminated to the public, all messaging needs to sound consistent. For a product or service
to sell itself, it has to sell an idea to the consumer, but capitalize this across their
communication channels. In other words, the messaging and brand identity should sound the same on your website and Facebook, as it does on Twitter and Instagram.

Although each platform sends out communication in a different manner, what makes these
vital to growing an audience is the specific way it interacts with those audience members. If you call your brand fun, engaging and emotionally driven, but don’t respond to customer inquiries or interact with them on Twitter, your brand isn’t holding true to its values. Platforms that look inconsistent, or do not communicate certain values to the public, will not amplify the brand identity.

In the initial stages of development, a critical component of building a brand is to seek the
advice of communication professionals who can help develop core messages to accompany the launch. These messages can be used to build your platforms, and can ensure that all individuals working on the account understand exactly what the company stands for and where it will progress in the market.

Thoughts on how to build a coherent brand message? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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PR in what?


My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” ― Diane Arbus

So, you want to be a PR professional but you’re unsure of the industry? It seems to be a trend among many young professionals. You know you want to pursue a position in the field, but you’re unsure of which industry. With an overwhelming number of options, like beauty,
healthcare, fashion, travel and many others, deciding on what’s best for you can naturally seem like a daunting task. Not to mention having to decide if you’d rather be in an agency or work in-house.

Is there a solution? Not really. When it comes to narrowing in on where you’d like to focus your efforts, it’s always best to start off with something you think you’d enjoy doing. Sometimes
people are surprised by how drastically their perspective changes once they are submersed in the industry and realize it’s not what they anticipated.

The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to tap into areas that are unexpected, and begin to build experience across a wide range of industries. This might even mean choosing an agency position in order to dabble across a few different clients. The agency choice might open up your eyes for which industry you don’t want to work in. On the other hand, in-house allows you a unique specialization that provides you with knowledge about how it fully functions.

The benefits of working with a variety of clients are the insights you are able to take away from the work and apply throughout different industries. For instance, providing strategies and
solutions for a client in the fashion industry might assist with directing your approach with a technology company. The insights you gain from developing tactics around the progress of a new ready-to-wear line, may add value to a technology client who is looking for a strategic way to build a brand identity that emphasizes a fashionable lifestyle.

Many individuals undervalue the experience they receive from an industry they have little knowledge about, or little desire to pursue. The challenge here is to take the opportunity to gain a new perspective and approach to understanding how a specific industry might use public
relations to inform that of another industry.

It’s important to remember that you are gaining valuable experience about how public relations can help a company as a whole. Rather than emphasizing a particular industry, don’t be afraid to branch out and dip you toe in the water of a new industry. You might be surprised about what you can takeaway from the experience.

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